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Ask Anyone

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I have a delicate issue with some in-laws. My husband’s cousin has, on several occasions, brought her 3 children to family functions when they are clearly sick. This has happened on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and most recently on my mother-in-law’s birthday.

I think this is thoughtless under normal circumstances, but there are some issues which make this behavior seem almost heinous. My mother-in-law has a chronic illness and was hospitalized last winter with pneumonia. It took her over two months to recover. My husband’s aunt, (the offender’s mother) has some yet to be determined health problems. My husband’s grandparents are in their 80’s, and do not need to be exposed to any germs.

That being said, do you have any ideas on how to deal with this situation? I would like to say something, but I don’t want to be labeled “The Bitch”.

—The Bitch

The Practical Cogitator says: But you ARE a bitch. I am quite sure the highlight of your mother-in-law’s holiday’s and birthdays are seeing the little ones that will proliferate your family line. I am also sure that your husbands grandparents are delighted to see the third generation running around, even if their noses are running.

See, what the older generation knows that you don’t know is that kids have runny noses and coughs, it’s just a fact. But the older generations LOVE to see the younger generation in their blankets, learning to walk, coloring, eating, playing in a corner, playing with their friends, just living. They love to ‘watch’ the kids. They like to comment on this one having Uncle Bernie’s Ears, and that one having the family eyes, and the other one being tall like cousin Ed and it skips a generation, don’t you know. The older folks don’t want to be too close to the little monsters though, and this is the whole reason for ‘The Kids Table.’

So, let the little ones come to the family gatherings, think for just a few minutes about the lonely existence that the Grandparents must be living, don’t withhold their precious grandkids from them. If you’re really so concerned about everyone’s health, why don’t you put a hanky in your pocket and help your husband’s cousin with the kids, occupy them, play with them. I mean really after they come in and are forced to kiss the older generation, how close are they coming to the infirm, really? So, stop being such a bitch and help out, it’s your family after all.

Dining Out says: Could somebody please write “The Homo Sapiens Guide to Common Cold Courtesy?” I certainly don’t RSVP to dinner parties when I’m hacking and sniveling into extra moisturized Puffs. Now that cold season is here and America is even more paranoid about germs (thanks Swine flu) the fear factor is up! I petition that all runny nosed Children & Adults remain confined in their own homes until their coughs subside and their mucus membranes dry up.

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